Great Escapes: Drug Busts in Asia.
Above Photo: Poppy-growing in Laos (Chiangrai Times).
Given my novel BACK deals with Adventure Backpackers trekking into the Vietnam War-battered Laotian jungle before becoming embroiled in the lawless border drugs trade, I’m always interested when I see drug-related stories about the border regions of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia (of which there are many).
This included the news that more than 2.5 tons of marijuana with a street value of 50 million baht (over £1,000,000 at the time of writing) had been seized in Thailand by police, who arrested two Laos nationals who’d brought it over on a boat across the Mekong River.
The two were arrested while they were unloading the goods. Several other smugglers were able to escape by jumping off the boat and swimming back across the Mekong to Laos.
Not long before that, Thai officials, acting on a tip-off, made a smaller bust when they seized a marijuana shipment also coming from Laos across the Mekong. They spotted a long-tail boat with 3 passengers and several rice sacks in it, and when the boat reached the Thai shore, officials searched the sacks and found the stash. The three suspects immediately fled the scene and remain at large.
Don’t the police have guns and boats (and tactics) for these stings? People seem to escape very easily in Asia in certain situations, and I have absolutely no idea why that could be….
Anyway, in spite of all the crackdowns, the wars on drugs, the operations, the stings, the crop eradications, the stepped-up enforcement, the education, it is clear that the drugs trade in Asia – and especially in Burma and Laos – still seems to be in full swing.
For a modern-day take on the Vietnam War and Adventure Backpackers trekking into the jungles of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, see: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-2/backpackers-meet-the-vietnam-war-back-screenplay-finally-finished/
For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
BACK Parts 1 and 2:
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